The Apostle Paul prophesied that in the end times — during the season of the Lord’s return — we would be confronted with perilous times, when people would love themselves, love money, and love pleasure. He was echoing the words of Jesus who had proclaimed that society would be as immoral and violent when He returns as it was in the days of Noah. Have those perilous times finally arrived?
Nathan Jones: So, Eric, tell us, are we living in these prophesied perilous times? Yes or no?
Eric Barger: “Perilous times” can be found referenced in 2 Timothy 3. In the end times perilous times will come. In that time people would be lovers of themselves more than lovers of God, boasters, proud, arrogant, deceivers, and God-haters. There is a whole list of characteristics there:
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Verse 5 says could be aimed at the Church, not the world, by accusing it of “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” This passage well describes what the overall world looks like today, but when you look particularly at verse 5, these so-called Christians have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. So, Paul is also aiming this at people who are in a religious setting and not just a pagan world setting.
Dr. Reagan: Every time I watch the evening news I think of that passage. We’re finally here!
Eric Barger: Oh, we are.
Nathan Jones: So, you are saying that we are in the very prophesied perilous times, or just the usual perilous times?
Eric Barger: I think we are seeing 2 Timothy 3 being acted out in the world. We see it in the Church. So, yes, we are in those very perilous times Paul was describing to Timothy. I believe we’re going to deal with a world that grows ever darker and darker. It’s going to turn darker and more opposed to the values that we stand for as Christians.
Nathan Jones: Give us some examples then, please. You obviously pointed out traitors and those who are headstrong, haughty, are lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, and have the form of godliness but deny God’s power. What then are some examples today that show us that we are living in these perilous times?
Eric Barger: For one, extreme narcissism. That’s what Paul is really describing here to Timothy. Narcissism is a word of course we use to describe these behaviors and is not one we necessarily see in the Bible.
One of the things that disturbs me the most about this extreme narcissism is the idea that our society’s free speech, our ability to openly discuss the Gospel, and our ability to disseminate the Gospel are continuously being put in the cross-hairs by those who want to stop religious freedom. They don’t want to hear the Gospel, so they attempt to shut all Christians up.
Nathan Jones: Christian persecution, not supporting free speech, and political correctness are all working together now to shut us up?
Eric Barger: All of that, yes, and it’s happening right here in our own freedom-loving culture, let alone in a communist culture or other more restrictive cultures from around the world that would never have been as free as ours is. And yet, silencing the Christian voice is happening in our culture this very day. We saw a case up in Canada, a very famous case from 2013, where the Canadian Supreme Court actually called the Bible “hate speech.” Most of this making the Bible illegal started at the level of the human rights groups and the human rights commissions. Whenever you see those kind of groups you’ll find bureaucrats who are appointed for the purpose of making delineations about whether some thing is hate speech or something isn’t.Eric Barger: Silencing the Christian voice is happening in our culture this very day. #freespeech #religiousfreedom Click To Tweet
Dr. Reagan: The result of that is in Canada right now if you speak out against abortion, or speak out against same-sex marriage, or homosexuality, on the air you’ll be fined $50,000. And, if you do so a second time, you’re taken off the air by the government.
Nathan Jones: We held a conference recently where we mentioned such topics and over in Canada YouTube cut us off so that their audience could not hear us speak about the sexual perversion movement and other topics like that.
Eric Barger: I know, I know. I’ve been waiting for a witch to sue one of our ministers who openly talk about these social issues because they’ve made him or her feel bad about themselves. I’ve been waiting for that because of other persecutions that have happened against religious freedom. In Canada this past summer a summer jobs fair was held. It’s been offered out there for quite a while in that the government will help organizations fund summer jobs. But, before a non-profit can get a grant, it has to check a box that says their organization agrees with abortion. Now, that’s Prime Minister Trudeau’s doing.
And, that’s where we’re headed in this country. We’d better wake up here, because I think our free speech is on the chopping block. Actually, I don’t think, I know it’s under attack here just the same as the other Western nations. The same ideas are being perpetrated on this side of the border as well.Eric Barger: We'd better wake up here, because I think our free speech is on the chopping block. #freespeech #religiousfreedom Click To Tweet
For example, in California their state government wants to put a clamp down on conferences and on any books or DVDs that speak out against the LGBT community. So that’s happening. They’ve had a law that they’re trying to run through that labels any sort of speech against the immorality of the LGBT lifestyle as hate speech.
Nathan Jones: You can’t even share the Gospel with someone who is a transvestite, for instance, and say, “Hey, Christ can rescue from the bondage of that lifestyle.” They claim saying such is hate speech against transvestites.
Eric Barger: That’s right. Liberal politicians want to make speaking out for biblical truth illegal and say that we can’t minister to people in that way.
In the second segment of our interview with Eric Barger on perilous times, Eric provides us with some more proofs that we are indeed living in the prophesied evil era.